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Cavaliers Hire Michigan’s Beilein To Engineer Franchise Turnaround

The Top News In Sports With New Cavaliers Coach The NBA draft lottery is Tuesday night and the Cleveland Cavaliers should have their new coach, John Beilein, on hand....

The Top News In Sports With New Cavaliers Coach

The NBA draft lottery is Tuesday night and the Cleveland Cavaliers should have their new coach, John Beilein, on hand.

Beilein, 66, has coached at just about every level of basketball in preparation for this late-in-life jump to the NBA. He spent the last 12 years at the University of Michigan, with two trips to the Final Four. He has had interest from the NBA before and has at last taken the big step.

Turning around the Cavaliers will an even bigger one. After LeBron James’ second defection, the Cavaliers plunged toward the bottom of the league standings. They tied the Phoenix Suns for the second worst record in the league (19-63) behind the New York Knicks (17-65), thanks in part to an 0-10 run to close the season.

Those three teams all have a 14 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick in the draft. The likely top pick will be Duke freshman Zion Williamson. Any pick in the top three – perhaps Duke’s R.J. Barrett or Murray State’s Ja Morant – could become a key building block.

The worst thing about Beilein leaving Michigan is that college basketball loses a coach who ran a clean program. There were no allegations of sex parties for recruits (Louisville) or reports of recorded phone calls of player payoffs (Arizona). And it was no secret that Beilein didn’t like the one-and-done nature of college basketball or that sewage ditch we call recruiting.

Wish him luck. The Cavaliers are at the bottom of the heap and Beilein, at 66, is taking on a major overhaul. And LeBron is not walking through those doors anytime soon.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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